Published On: Fri, Feb 22nd, 2019

Suicide Among Teenagers: Causes and Cure

We live in a world today where children are constantly exposed to a lot of things that we were not even aware of during our teenage. Life is not easy for a teenager and as a parent it is important to be emotionally and mentally be connected with the child.

Scary Stats

It is an alarming statistics that can be very scary. In 2015 1, 33,623 teen suicides were reported from across the world and the numbers are only increasing. It is common for most of us to believe that this can never happen to us or our child. The statistics almost give similar figures for boys and girls who committed suicide in 2015.

India is one of those countries where the teen suicide rates are actually quite high and there are significant numbers of teenagers in India who are in depression due to some reason or the other. It is also true that many of these cases also remain unreported.

There are many cases of attempted suicide as well. We are sure that you must have heard of at least one or two teen suicide cases in the family or in your locality. The figures are scary and we as parents must ensure that we take proper steps to stop this.

The teenagers actually live a stressed life; they are under constant pressure to perform. They also have a lot of peer pressure to deal with. Some of them may prefer to live a life of isolation and not talk much about their problems. The cases can be many and of different types. As parents you must keep a close eye on the child and also ensure that you have regular communications with the child.

Main causes of teen suicides

  1. The pressure to perform and comparison – It is a common tendency among parents to compare the children with other children and put pressure on them to perform. The parents want the children to do well and get good marks. The parents spend a lot of money on the education of the child and send the child to various coaching classes. They expect that as so much money is being spent the child must perform well and get the best results. Parents want the child to achieve what they could not as children. They force the child to take up a course that the child himself is not much interested in. This tends to become a major reason for increasing number of suicide among teens.
  1. Financial problems – this situation is quite opposite of the first one. In this the child suffers from financial problems as they do not have enough money. The child has to work extra in order to ensure that the family is supported. They cannot afford what their friends are having and this causes a lot of mental pressure on the child. Most of the teen suicide cases are actually reported from families who are not well to do. These children cannot take the burden of study pressure that combines with the peer pressure.
  1. Parents not having enough time – Another very common reason for suicide among teens are that parents do not have enough time. Both the parents are working and they do not have enough time to spend with the child. The children feel that they are not able to share their feelings with the parents. The parents are always busy and they do not have any time to pay attention to the needs of the child. The parents feel that giving the required money is all that they need to do and that is the end of the duty. The teenagers feel that they are alone and the parents actually do not need them so they want to end their lives.
  1. Parents are over protective – another common problem that we often face today is the fact that the parents are over protective. They hardly get time with the kids. Whatever time they have they try to be nice and loving to the kids. They provide the kids everything that the kid wants. They do not let the child face the real world. When the child reaches teenage. They slowly start to face the true world that is not as nice as we make the children believe. This is when the problems start. The pains and the criticism that the child faces in the real world can also lead them to take the drastic step.
  1. The demands of the society – Not all children are extroverts. There are many children who get bullied either directly or indirectly. This is the age where children start to get attracted towards the opposite sex. They may try to get into a romantic relationship and date someone. The teenagers often get carried away by romantic fairy tales just to realize that there is nothing like that in real life. This can be quite heart breaking.
  1. There are many computer games like the blue whale. These can be very bad and lead children to suicide. There are any games like these and children actually lose their ability to think as they get addicted to these games. As parents you must ensure that you keep the children away from any such games that can cost them their lives.
  1. Addictions – many teenagers today are addicted. They take to drinking and smoking from a very young age. This can be a result of mixing with wrong friends. As parents you must ensure that we keep a track of the friends the kid is making. If the child is showing any sign of addiction. It must be taken care of at the earliest.
  1. Mental health of a child – we spend a lot of time and money to ensure that the health of the child is taken care of. However, you must keep in mind that the mental health is also equally essential. Many children suffer from depression and anxiety. If these are not treated well and on time then these bottled emotions can lead to suicide.

Signs for parents/guardians

We have tried to cover some of the common reasons for a child to commit suicide. We will now discuss some points that will help you as a parent to understand if the child is suicidal:

  1. When you see that a child slowly starts to withdraw from people he or she used to be very close to.
  2. The child refuses to go to any social functions and meet other people in the society.
  3. The child shows lack of purpose and also shows sign of aggression.
  4. The child starts to make drawings of depressive things and suicides.
  5. The child often shows signs of panic attack.
  6. There is a sudden change in the eating habit of the child.
  7. The child is not sleeping well or is not getting enough sleep. You see the child awake in the night and not sleeping.
  8. There is a sudden fall in the performance of the child. The marks are going down and the child is not able to concentrate.
  9. The child is looking dull and is looking thin all of a sudden. You feel that the child is looking weak but there is no reason for this change in appearance.
  10. The child is giving away his or her favourite stuff to other children or just throwing them away.

These are some of the very common and strong signs that indicate the child is in disturbed state of mind and is suicidal. If you can feel these changes and take actions accordingly then the child may be saved from committing suicide. There can be many other indicators apart from these.

Not all children have a tendency to get suicidal. Some children are mentally stronger than the others. However, if the child has a history of getting into depression and they have been into substance abuse then these points must mean that something is definitely amiss.

Many children before trying to commit suicide will read about suicides and how to commit suicide. It is always a good idea to keep a close look at what the child is browsing and what they are into. Try to keep the child engaged and keep a close eye on whatever the child is doing. It is very important that you give importance to the child on a daily basis. Spend one on one time with the child. Talk to the child and make them a part of your life.

Teen suicide is a common thing that is a matter of grave concern. However, at the same time it is preventable just that you we as parents have to be more involved and caring. The world we live in today is not safe and there are lot of things that the children are exposed to. Paying attention to the child is essential for the mental development of the child. Suicides happen when the child is not able to take out their emotions, an emotional connect with the child is a must no matter what the age of the child is.

About the Author

- A young mom who enjoys her role as a parent and loves to pen down what ever her beautiful daughter has to teach her.

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